Welcome, you few, you proud, you faithful followers of Overly Verbose! Thanks to a very cool contest on the Reading Fiction For Life Facebook page, I now have ten, TEN fans on Goodreads! Ah ah ah! Go me. As I said in my last post, I may just have an urban fantasy novel coming out in the not-too-distant future. I'd written it last year around the spring time and have sent it to a handful of beta readers to tear apart and criticize and belittle. So far, nobody has told me it's a raging piece of crap. So that makes me feel good =D I'm just waiting on one last beta reader to finish it and get back to me with her comments before I do a final round of editing.
What's the book about? Well, without giving too much away I'll say that it's about a 'professional' medium/ghost whisperer who's a little down on his luck. He takes on a case that he's rather ill prepared to handle out of monetary desperation. It dredges up things from his sordid past that he'd rather leave in his rear view mirror. It's got ghosts, it's got booze, it's got fast food, it's got fast cars, it's got a bit of action, and maybe even a hint of....romance? What's the title, you may ask? Well, I'm keeping that one close to the chest until I hear back from my cover artist. When he gets closer to finalizing a design we both dig I'll do a nice little reveal. In the meantime, I give you THE WHOLE FRIGGING PROLOGUE! That's right; in the interest of being cooler than the average bear, I don't give you just a couple of paragraphs. I give you the first five pages. Hope it whets your whistle!
**Of note--this has NOT been edited, so please try to overlook any grammatical errors. They WILL be fixed.**
That was all I could hear as I came to. The sounds of liquid splashing were like gunshots in the otherwise quiet room.
I could feel something wet on my face but realized that my wrists were bound behind me when I tried to move them. The harder I struggled, the more the duct tape cut into my flesh.
Once I was able to get my eyes open, I could see what the dripping noise was.
The image was fuzzy at first but the harder I stared at it the more it came into focus. Liquid was falling from my face, collecting in a shiny crimson pool between my black combat boots.
I shook my head to get my shaggy black hair out of my face but it was stringy and sluggish. It felt like a dead octopus was perched on my head, it was so congealed with sweat. Probably for the best anyway. My head hurt like hell. Every time I moved it was like someone was exploding C4 inside my skull, making the pain resonate all through my body, making my heartbeat ring in my ears.
At least I still had a heartbeat though. There’s some solace in that.
The cobwebs having finally left my vision, I took in my surroundings. I wasn’t just in a room. I was on a floor of some giant, abandoned warehouse. Steel beams and joists shown through the water damaged ceiling. Drywall was torn off of most of the walls, exposing old deteriorating insulation. The floor to ceiling windows that lined the walls were painted over but some weak light filtered in through them. It was just enough to show how dingy my surroundings were. The whole damn room was just a varying shade of rust brown. In between the shadows it looked like dried, caked up blood. The red pool between my feet would probably fit right in given some time.
A naked bulb cast a small pool of light in front of me. Not five feet away was a metal folding chair, just like the one I was sitting in. Whoever it was there for was nowhere to be seen.
I tried to maneuver myself to take in more of my surroundings but my body was just one giant sack of bruised meat. To make matters worse, I couldn’t even remember how I got there.
“Where the fuck am I?” I asked nobody in particular.
“You certainly aren’t in Kansas anymore, Mr. Gabriel.”
The reply came from all around me. The way the sound bounced around the room I couldn’t tell where it originated from. It was female though. Definitely female. That much I could tell. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Judging by the fact that I was beat up and bloody and bound with industrial strength duct tape it probably didn’t matter.
Evil knows no gender.
The sound of my blood falling to join the party in the pool at my feet was replaced by the sound of footsteps. High heels to be exact. There’s no mistaking the sound of a wooden heel reporting on bare concrete.
The footsteps were slow and measured, echoing throughout the massive empty, nearly black space. Whoever they belonged to was in no rush.
Not a good sign for me.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Mr. Gabriel.” The deep, yet completely feminine voice emanated from the shadows around me. “Or can I call you Seth? Yes. I like the sound of that better, don’t you? So much more…personal.” I detected the sound of a smile. Something told me it wasn’t a pleasant one.
“You just never know when to quit, do you, Ssseth?” Her voice, still seemingly coming from all around me, sounded like a snake hissing when she said my name.
“Losing is for losers and winners play to win,” I grunted.
That was a mistake.
She was on me in an instant. Her hand connected with my already wrecked face. The slap sent me reeling back, chair and all.
Note to self. Never crack wise when you’re tied up in a chair in some non-descript abandoned warehouse with an apparent psychopath.
The force of the blow added to the mass of fire that was my face. Even the cool concrete couldn’t take away the white hot pain. It was so intense I threw up, my vomit pooling right in front of me. The smell was a rather nasty combination of wet pennies and tequila. Obviously remnants from the previous night’s drinking binge.
The tequila. Not the pennies.
The woman’s leather clad arm emerged from the shadows and effortlessly set the chair back to rights. With me in it.
“Sseth,” she said poutily. I still couldn’t see her. Her back was to me after she picked me up, walking to the chair set up under the naked bulb. “Why must you make me hurt you so?”
“Would it help if I said I was sorry?” My voice didn’t sound right to my ears. As I ran my thick tongue over my lips I found out why. My mouth was a craggy landscape of weeping cuts. It stung just to lick them.
“No,” she said over her shoulder. “Nothing can really help you now, Seth.” She didn’t sound too broken up over it either.
She turned her chair around and positioned it so it was fully under the naked light bulb. With a grace and delicacy of a dancer, she threw her leg over the back of it and sat down, resting her arms on the back.
I took her in. Long red hair, framing a lovely face with just the hint of crow’s feet at the corners of her green eyes. A full mouth with even white teeth. Small little button nose.
Dressed in her black leather biker gear, which was more or less spray painted onto her lithe body, she’d be the kind of girl I’d like to bang. A lot. And often.
But as the soupy fog wrapped around my brain began to clear, I could see her for what she really was. I could remember her for what she really was. I could remember why I was there and how I got there.
Her green eyes weren’t green. They were smoldering, like the color of a sunset just before the great big ball of fire that gives us life surrenders to night. What looked like even white teeth to anybody else were actually two rows of razor sharp fangs.
No, this sulfur smelling vision in front of me was no beauty queen. At least not on the inside. On the inside she was scary and sick and twisted and flat out evil.
“What’s wrong, Seth? You don’t like my human vessel?” She cocked her head at me. “I will make many men beg in this form. Beg…and scream.” She played her long forked tongue over her fangs.
“I like your human vessel just fine. At least until you squatted in there and fucked it all up.”
“I would really hate to further damage your otherwise handsome face, human.” She said through narrowed fiery eyes.
“Somehow I doubt that.”
She stood up from her chair in a lightning quick motion and threw it through one of the blacked out windows behind her with a crash. Pale moonlight found its way through the gaping hole.
I’d obviously pissed her off.
Very not good.
Her fists were curled into little balls of hate, the sound of her leather riding gloves crinkling in the near soundless room as she walked slowly and deliberately to me. The leather hugging her hips and chest made it hard not to look. Luckily I could see her evil-assed face for what it was. That’s always good for keeping my herculean libido down.
“You and I are going to have some fun, Seth,” she hissed in my face, inches away, her breath saturated with sulfur.
“Charades? Maybe Uno?” Sometimes I just didn’t learn. Sure I sounded brave but I was shitting my pants. Whatever she was going to do, I just wished she’d do it. I’m not a big fan of long torture sessions. And as I looked into her eyes with the flames dancing chaotically in them, I knew that’s exactly what she had in mind.
She took off a leather glove and revealed dangerously sharp talons.
“I will so enjoy making you bleed, Seth. I will so enjoy tearing you limb from limb. Slowly. You will beg me for death. You will do anything I want to bring an end to the pain. But I will not allow it. Your begging, your pleading…it will mean nothing to me. Your pain and your screaming however,” she threw her head back and laughed. Her voice went from deep and almost sultry to unearthly and guttural as her demonic face filled my vision and said, “Will be the stuff of legend.”
My name is Seth Gabriel.
I’m in deep shit.